Portland detective acted reasonably in shooting at unarmed man in Aloha, district attorney’s office says
A Portland police detective acted reasonably in shooting at an unarmed man in Aloha during the summer, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Michael Anthony Tate Jr., 25, pointed a “black object” – later identified as a cellphone – toward Portland Detective Travis Fields and the officer believed the object was a firearm, Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon wrote to Portland Police Chief Mike Reese last week. Fields fired two rounds at Tate, but he was not struck. Tate, who authorities said was wanted in connection with a parole violation and Beaverton assault, later jumped from a third-story apartment window.
He was injured and received medical treatment before being taken into custody.
Hanlon reviewed the investigation, conducted by the Washington County Major Crimes Team, and determined that “there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing” by Fields and that it was not necessary to present the case to a Washington County grand jury.
Following the incident, authorities were tight-lipped. They refused to say whether Tate was armed or provide details about what prompted the shooting. Hanlon’s letter provides the first glimpse of the circumstances related to the Aug. 21 incident.
Fields, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Members of the task force arrived at the Aloha apartment, in the 18100 block of Southwest Rosa Road, in the morning of Aug. 21. Authorities had a warrant to arrest Tate and had information that he may be inside the unit.
Fields and Washington County Sheriff’s Detective Brad Verboort, also a member of the task force, knocked on the apartment’s door and Tate’s relative, Monica Jaramillo, answered, according to the letter. Jaramillo told the investigators that they could come inside, where they found Tate sitting on the couch in her living room.
Fields and Verboort told Tate about the arrest warrant, and they instructed him to stand up to be cuffed.
“Mr. Tate quickly turned and ran and produced from his pocket or clothing a black object which Mr. Tate raised to eye level and pointed in the direction of Det. Fields,” Hanlon wrote. “Det. Fields perceived the black object to be a firearm and fired two rounds from his service weapon (which until that time had remained holstered.)”
Tate ran into a bathroom, then into a bedroom, where he jumped out of the window, the letter says. State Police Detective Dirk Anderson, also a member of the task force, found that Tate’s “black encased cell phone” remained in his right hand after he jumped.
Jaramillo told investigators, the letter says, that Tate had come to her apartment early that morning “upset, hysterical and crying.” She said that Tate told her he was involved in a fight or argument, cut off his parole GPS monitoring bracelet and didn’t want to go back to prison, according to the letter.
Jaramillo told Tate to turn himself in to authorities. But he didn’t want to and said “‘(h)e’d rather just die and have them think he has a gun and shoot him,'” Jaramillo told police.
“A reasonable conclusion is that Mr. Tate was largely successful in provoking law enforcement into using deadly force in his attempt to be killed rather than return to prison…and that Det. Fields reasonably responded to the perceived threat from Mr. Tate,” Hanlon wrote.
Tate, according to Hanlon’s letter, previously served several years in prison related to an assault. Two days before the shooting, Beaverton officers responded to a reported assault involving Tate’s girlfriend, who told police Tate attacked her, knocking out her right, front tooth.
Authorities said Tate was wanted on accusations of second-degree assault, strangulation and menacing in connection with that attack. Tate is being held in the Multnomah County Jail, according to records.
Washington County authorities won’t say whether man shot at by officer in Aloha was armed
A 25-year-old man was shot at on Aug. 21 by a Portland police officer, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities won’t say whether the man was armed.
More than a week after a Portland police officer fired his weapon at a wanted man in Aloha, Washington County authorities have yet to release whether the man was armed or further details about what prompted the shooting.
On Aug. 21, Portland Detective Travis Fields fired two rounds at Michael Anthony Tate Jr., who then jumped out of a third-story apartment window, Sgt. Bob Ray, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said on Friday. Ray said Tate was not armed with a gun. It is unknown whether Fields’ shots struck Tate.
Fields, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force, according to the Portland Police Bureau. He remains on paid administrative leave. The bureau is also conducting a standard internal review of the shooting.
Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland police spokesman, referred all questions regarding the investigation to Washington County authorities.
The Washington County Major Crimes Team is conducting the shooting investigation, which will be presented to the district attorney’s office for review. Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon said he wasn’t in a place to discuss the shooting Friday.
“The investigation is continuing,” he said. “I hope that the investigation will be concluded in the next two to three weeks at which point the reports will be forwarded to our office for our review. It would be inappropriate to comment on the contents of the investigation until it’s completed.”
Ray said Tate was wanted on charges of second-degree assault, strangulation and menacing following an attack on a woman in Beaverton. He was also wanted on a parole violation out of Multnomah County, Ray said.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force arrived at the Aloha apartment, in the 18100 block of Southwest Rosa Road, in the morning of Aug. 21. Shortly after 12:05 p.m., Fields fired the two shots.
Specific information about why the officer fired has not been released.
“When the Marshals attempted to arrest Mr. Tate, he was resistive and his actions escalated forcing a Marshal to fire his weapon,” Ray said in the initial press release.
After the officer fired, Tate broke a window in the third-story apartment and jumped, Ray said. He landed in some dirt and was taken to a local hospital.
The sheriff’s office said he suffered “substantial injuries.” His condition is unknown.
No police officers were injured during the incident.
Yelma Cortes, 20, who lives in the apartment complex, said a bullet punctured a coin-sized hole in her dining room wall. There was another hole, she said, in her third-story deck.
Man who jumped from Aloha apartment after officer fired at him still receiving medical treatment
A wanted man who jumped out of a third-story window at an Aloha apartment after a Portland police officer fired his weapon at him Tuesday is continuing to receive medical treatment, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Michael Anthony Tate Jr.’s condition is unknown. The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that he suffered “substantial injuries.” Sgt. Bob Ray, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said all of the injuries found so far on the 25-year-old have been related to his jumping out of the window.
Authorities remained tight-lipped about the case Wednesday. A woman who answered the door to the apartment, in the 18100 block of Southwest Rosa Road, declined to comment.
Yelma Cortes, 20, who lives in the apartment complex, said she was home taking care of her baby daughter and getting lunch ready in the kitchen Tuesday. The moment she sat down on her couch, she heard a noise of glass shattering. Dust flew up in her dining room, she said.
Then she realized: It’s a bullet. It’s a gunshot.
Cortes, a stay at home mom, said she grabbed her baby and her sister and ran into the bathroom, where they stayed for a few silent minutes.
When she came out, police evacuated her family for several hours.
A bullet had punctured a coin-sized hole in her white dining room wall, she said. Another hole, she said, pockmarked her third-story outside deck.
When Cortes returned for questioning from detectives, she remembered that she didn’t hear any shouting. She said she didn’t know her neighbor, the woman whom a wanted man had come to see.
“We’re just here, minding our own business,” Cortes said. “There was no shouting, none of that.”
Members of the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force had arrived at the apartment Tuesday morning. Shortly after 12:05 p.m., the Portland police officer, who is a member of the task force, fired at least one shot in the apartment, Ray said.
Authorities have not released how many shots he fired or information about whether Tate was armed. Specific information about why the officer fired has not been released.
“When the Marshals attempted to arrest Mr. Tate, he was resistive and his actions escalated forcing a Marshal to fire his weapon,” Ray said in a press release.
No police officers were injured during the incident.
After the officer fired, Tate broke a window in the third-story apartment and jumped, Ray said. He reportedly landed in some dirt, and was taken to OHSU Hospital in Portland.
One other person, in addition to Tate, was inside the apartment at the time of the shooting. Ray wasn’t sure how many officers entered the location.
The Washington County Major Crimes Team is continuing to investigate.